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China Telecom has announced that COO Yang Xiaowei has resigned from his position with immediate effect. The news has been met with widespread shock and surprise by those within the telecommunications sector in China.

China Telecom, is the country’s third largest operator - and whilst it did recently express that it was facing increasingly intensive market competition, its recently published financial results for Q1 were seen as extremely positive – with the results indicating a solid performance overall in Q1. However, Yang has now resigned just 14 months after taking the position within the organization.

Yang had been a member of the China Telecom board prior to his appointment as President and COO in April 2016, at the same time as Yang’s appointment – CEO and chairman Yang Jie took over at the helm. However, in the statement issued by China Telecom the operator chooses not to disclose any reasons as to why Yang departed the company with immediate effect. It stated that no disagreement had taken place with the board, and in addition to this, said no matters in relation to his resignation should be brought to the attention of shareholders. The brief statement read: “There was no disagreement with the board and there wasn’t any matters in relation to his resignation that should be brought to the attention of the shareholders.”

In April, CEO, Yang Jie said the operator was now facing increased competition in an increasingly competitive environment – but financial results showed steady enhancement in operation revenue and net profit. However, a cloud of suspicion remains over the sudden departure of Yang Xiaowei.

China’s three leading mobile operators also confirmed that it will end domestic consumer roaming fees by the end of October – which is part of government initiative to cut consumer costs in the country.